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Listen to Christine Figgener as she discusses turtle conservation. She talks about her video of the turtle with the straw in its nose.
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Listen to Christine Figgener as she discusses turtle conservation. She talks about her video of the turtle with the straw in its nose.
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on conversation on uh, so I think a lot of people might know who you are, even if they don't quite realize they know who you are because you put out a video a couple of years ago now, I think it was of a plastic straw being pulled out of the nose of a turtle. Um that was that was you that that was filming. It just explained very briefly how that came about and what kind of fallout for that was because it was a fairly successful catalyst in this campaign to start removing some elements of plastic from the ocean. Yeah, so it was five years ago actually at this point and um it was during the yeah, the research of my PhD project. So we were capturing turtles and we just found this one specific male that had something funny impressive in its in its nose. And I had a colleague visiting that day on both on the boat that we used and he was interested in the critics that live on turtles, the after bonds and he was about to remove that thing. And since I had been done with my part of the data collection already, I just decided to film the whole thing. And so a lot of people are actually very familiar with my voice that have watched that movie or this film clip after that came out. There was I mean a number of big companies around the world stopped using plastic straws. Am I correct? Yeah. So well, I don't wanna like claim that you know, we started it all because there have been really hundreds of people that already have been working on the issue of single use plastics, but it had been for sure, a great catalyst for just like a bigger wave of change. And so there is like Disney, Alaska Airlines, Starbucks, um that really now are phasing out single use plastic straws. And there's so many more governments in the world that also have been starting at least to think about what kind of single use plastic they could face out in future. So, I mean, that's a pretty awesome, you know, result of that video. Yeah. Uh two questions just come off the back of this before I get it dig into the main thing that I wanted to speak to you about um for this episode is, do you, there's maybe a slightly controversial statement, but I've heard people talk about it before, Do you think that um there's really quite successful drive um to raise awareness of the use of all plastics in our lifestyle has um kind of overshadowed, removed, possibly a more important focus which is on this bigger picture of climate change. You know what, I don't think it has removed it because what people tend to forget is that these two issues actually go hand in hand because plastics are made from fossil fuels, right? And fossil fuels or the producers of fossil fuels are actually pretty much the dinosaurs. They're about to go extinct and they're looking for words of how they can still use fossil fuels in future and they're trying to ramp up the production of plastics. So it is actually really sad. And I think if people would look at it, you know, from a very comprehensive way rather than just from the plastic straw perspective, which I get sometimes you're annoyed by and then they would actually see it's not, you know, it's not a disconnected issue. Climate change and and plastics, it's actually very much connected. Interconnected. Yeah. Okay. We're gonna leave plastics to one side for the moment and I want to move on to something that you just glanced over when you were describing the actual video, which was that you said that there are things that live on turtles explain that to me because they'll be I I did know this through actually conversations with a couple of different friends of mine and one who's just written a very interesting article and turtles and he was telling me all about this, but some people won't maybe appreciate that. They're almost like a little mini ecosystem in themselves. Oh yeah. I mean turtles are almost like floating islands for certain critters. Right? So if you have to think about your tiny, tiny organism living in the vast ocean and you might not be as mobile as for example, sea turtle, you have to find ways of how to distribute and to procreate as well. And so you are looking for bigger animals that you can kind of latch onto. And a lot of times it doesn't cause any home to the actual host. Um, sometimes it does, sometimes it's it's parasitic interaction, but a lot of times it's just kind of a common socialism. So, you know, they're just sitting on the turtles and kind of, you know, filter feed on the way where the turtle is going as well. But what is super interesting is that actually depending of where the turtle is traveling, Because turtles are pretty far traveling depending on the species we actually have, you know, thousands of kilometres that our travel between feeding grounds and nesting grounds. And you can actually look at those critters that live on the turtles and see where they might have originated from, because there are certain species that are only, you know, found in certain areas. And if you look at those, we call by Nicholls, it's a little crustacean, syrupy idea that live on turtles. Quite often they form little little shells if you want. So, and when you look at those shells, you can actually see the layers as well, just as
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